"The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia"

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Book O'Dead
Joined: 31-07-12
Aug 2 2012 05:45
"The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia"

The Dispossessed is a 1974 Science fiction novel by American novelist Ursula K. Leguin.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dispossessed

I presume that many libcom particpants have probably read it and discussed it on this site.

It's a brilliant story of two human worlds, each very different from the other, both competing against a hostile universe and separated by only 4 days of space travel.

One world, Urras, is much like Earth, blessed by natural wealth and voluptuous beauty. The other, Anarres, is an almost barren desert, capable of providing limited sustenance only to the most tenacious.

Anarres was settled 200 years before this story begins by people from Urras, determined to create a free, egalitarian society. After two centuries of privation and struggle against a hostile environment, the Anarrestis have succeeded in colonizing their planet and in establishing a classless, stateless civilization free of repressive institutions, or so it would seem at first glance.

Meanwhile, their planet of origin has remained basically as they left it; with class-divided societies, fragmented into hostile, competing nation states, each recklessly exploiting nature and each other.

At the point in which the story begins both worlds seemed to have reached a relatively stable state until the almost simultaneous arrival of representatives of the Ecumen and the discovery of a novel physical theory by Shevek, an Anarresti physicist, that promises to uncover the secrets of near-light speed travel .

This is a marvelous story for anyone interested in Anarchy or just plain loves Science fiction.

You can obtain a copy of "The Dispossessed" here:

A study guide for this book can be had here:

A review is available here:

As this is perhaps my favorite sci-fi novel, I urge you to read it and would very much love to discuss it with anyone.

A fraternal embrace.